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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pokemon Heroes, the fifth film in the Pokemon series, stays true to the franchise's focus on cartoon action. There are lots of battles, many characters in danger from one-dimensional villains and their weapons, and the ongoing threat of a beautiful, peaceful city's destruction. No one is seriously injured, but some characters are knocked out for a time, and one central legendary "guardian" vanishes, supposedly giving his life to save his city -- it's never spoken of as a death, but as if he is now in some other, better place. Positive messages about fulfilling dreams and destiny, as well as the ever-present "good triumphs over evil," get some attention and frame the almost nonstop physical conflict.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In POKEMON HEROES, Pokemon master Ash and pals Brock and Misty visit the Venice-like city called Altomare, which is guarded by two legendary Pokemons named Latia and Latios. They are dolphin-shaped creatures who can make themselves invisible and disguise themselves as human and who communicate in annoying fingernails-on-blackboard screeches. Meanies Annie and Oakley, teen girls with midriff-baring outfits, steal the jewel that is the source of Altomare's power.
Is it any good?
This lackluster fifth Pokemon movie has some briefly lovely background paintings, but other than that it's below average for the series. It's too violent and confusing for younger kids and doesn't have enough character, plot, or visual interest to engage older kids.
There are three reasons that children are drawn to characters like Pokemon. First is the perennial appeal of characters who appear to be weak but have hidden sources of power. Kids, who live in a world of powerful giants are drawn to stories of transformations and secret strength. Second, the many facts to memorize about Pokemon give children a chance to master something, giving them a sense of power and competence. Third, as children start to develop social skills, fads like Pokemon provide a shared language that can help those conversations and imaginative games get started.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Pokemon movies are popular. Are they just a marketing tool for selling Pokemon cards, games and toys? Or are they fun on their own?
How do you think Pokemon Heroes compares with other Pokemon movies?
Families might want to look at photographs of Venice, which inspired the imaginary city of Altomare.
- In theaters: May 16, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: January 20, 2004
- Cast: Megan Hollingshead, Tara Jayne, Veronica Taylor
- Director: Kunihiko Yuyama
- Studio: Miramax
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship, Ocean Creatures, Science and Nature
- Run time: 80 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
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